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2018 Winner of the Judy K. Black Award

2018 Judy K. Black Award Winning Paper
"Adolescent Major Depression: National Trends, Risk Factors, and Disparities in Mental Health Service Use"
Author: Wenhua Lu, PhD, MS

Wenhua Lu, PhD, MSWenhua Lu, PhD, MS

Dr. Wenhua Lu, PhD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Department of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University. Dr. Lu earned her MS in science and technology journalism (2009-2011) and PhD in health education (2011-2014) from Texas A&M University. She also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in mental health service research at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University (2014-2016).

Dr. Lu’s research centers around child and adolescent health disparities, with a focus on minority and underserved populations. In particular, Dr. Lu is interested in understanding and intervening on behavioral, psychosocial and environmental factors that influence minority and underserved children’s health risk behaviors (e.g., unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity), negative health outcomes (e.g., childhood obesity), and mental health disorders (e.g., adolescent depression). Currently, Dr. Lu is working on two health disparities research projects to 1) examine the mechanism underlying unmet mental health service needs among Asian American adolescents with mental health disorders, and 2) investigate the real-time influence of neighborhood environments on adolescent food-purchase behaviors using mobile technologies. Dr. Lu is also the Co-Project Director of a RWJF-sponsored youth civic engagement project to evaluate the implementation and impact of RWJF’s Next Generation Community Leaders initiative in 11 underserved minority communities across New Jersey.

Dr. Lu’s research has been published in leading public health journals, including Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, American Journal of Health Behavior, and Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, and featured in various media outlets, such as NJTV News, Morning Dose TV, KYW News Radio, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Dr. Lu is also the recipient of multiple prestigious research awards, including the 2017 NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute scholarship.

Quote: “I feel so honored to join the elite group of Judy K. Black awardees and motivated to see that my research has been recognized at the early stage of my career. I am thankful for all the valuable training I have received from my mentors in different disciplines, the tremendous support from my colleagues, students and community partners, as well as the unconditional love from my family.”

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